Metal Slug is a series of shooter games from SNK. The series is primarily an arcade game, with nearly every title being released on SNK's own Neo-Geo arcade consoles. However, the series has been ported to (and had original games for) the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Neo-Geo Pocket Color, Xbox, Xbox Live Arcade, PC, Mobile Phone, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii. In addition, there was an anthology title released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii.
The franchise is well-known for its large, colorful sprites and smooth animation. The cartoon yet detailed style of the graphics is unique, and something that many people familiarize with the Metal Slug franchise. The cartoon style also helps the comical style of the game, with humorous reactions and situations presenting themselves around every corner.
The franchise involves a small but highly trained squadron of soldiers known as the Peregrine Falcon Squad. They fight against an evil army, aliens, and other supernatural threats.
Marco is the main character and protagonist of the series. He has appeared in every game except for Metal Slug Advance. He enjoys writing and programming computer viruses, and once created one that nearly launched all of the nuclear missiles in U.S. military's defense. When he first appeared in Metal Slug, he was a Lieutenant, but by Metal Slug 6, he has been promoted to a Major. Marco also appeared in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum (a fighting game featuring popular SNK characters) as a playable character.
Tarma is the son of a Japanese soldier. Right out of junior high, Tarma joined a military training program for special tactics and combat. He rescued the president by the age of twenty, and proceeded to use this influence to get transferred to the Peregrine Falcon Squad, where he became quick friends with Marco. The duo then proceeded to fight in the Great War, where Tarma was promoted to Captain.
Fio comes from a wealthy Italian family. The Germi family had a tradition of sending the firstborn child into the military, so, being the only child, Fio was sent. Although she wanted to be a doctor, she willingly upheld this tradition. She is a Master Sergeant in the Intelligence Agency's S.P.A.R.R.O.W., a special forces group of the government.
Eri is an orphan; left on the doorstep of a church. Once she was old enough, she ran away and became the leader of a group of street kids. The government noticed her special abilities in fighting, and took her away for special military training. Because she excelled there, she was taken to spy training. After her completion of the program, she quickly completed several missions with flying colors. However, tired of being involved in assassinations and conspiracies, Eri requested to be transferred to the Special Ops Group S.P.A.R.R.O.W.
Metal Slug is a traditional run-and-gun shooter, borrowing most of its gameplay traits from franchises such as Contra. The enemies come quickly and the weapons fire rapidly. However, in most shooters touching an enemy means instant death. It is not so in Metal Slug. The player only dies when the enemy attacks. Melee attacks can be preformed if the player is close enough.
The titular vehicle SV-001 (SV stands for Super Vehicle) is an armored tank equipped with several cannons and attacks. The tank can both jump and crouch. Crouching allows the player to throw grenades out of the hatch. The tank can run over infantry units, making it useful against enemies.